tea, judith krall russo, tea food history, food, history, new jersey, speaker, lecturer
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From time to time, The Tea House Times will share an interview with one of our regular advertisers, circulate the interview to our email list and post here at our website. 

This month we are interviewing: 




This month we are interviewing Judith Krall-Russo from www.teafoodhistory.com .  Judith has enjoyed a lifelong love of foods, especially embracing the rich agriculture of her home state – New Jersey.  Also a tea expert and historian, she began studying the customs and traditions of this universal beverage 30 years ago and has earned several certifications from the Specialty Tea Institute in NYC and The Tea School in Connecticut.  Judith is a regular lecturer and seminar organizer across the state.  Her most popular New Jersey programs are: The Jersey Tomato, Blueberries – New Jersey’s Wonder Fruit, and The New Jersey Cranberry.  She offers lectures, tea tastings, workshops, and cooking demonstrations on a variety of topics.  Judith is an historian, educator, speaker, and restaurant consultant.

GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  I am thrilled to say I have had the pleasure to attend several of your events - being in my home state of New Jersey.  The topics are so varied and your presentations are always fresh and exciting, full of information and history.  Who knew there was so much history behind the foods we eat!  I know you offer programs about foods and tea, aprons, and more - please share with us some of the food topics you specialize in and other historical food programs.


JUDITH/TEA FOOD HISTORY: I do many programs on the fascinating history of New Jersey foods. My two newest programs are “Peachy-Keen: Peaches in New Jersey” and “Fun and Food Along the Jersey Shore” both programs are very popular. In the summer I get a lot of requests f0r “The Jersey Tomato” and “Blueberries – New Jersey’s Wonder Fruit”.  When the weather starts getting chilly I do many programs on the “Harvest Season” and “The New Jersey Cranberry”, and all year long I get requests for “Remedies from the Kitchen”. Around the holidays my “Colonial and Victorian Christmas Customs” are always well attended. 


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  What happens at your presentation/workshop about aprons?


JUDITH/TEA FOOD HISTORY:  The “Artful Apron”, this is a three hour fun and creative workshop. Participants are given a half tea-apron to design an Artful Apron. This is their journal, their canvas.  They are asked to bring sequins, fabric, photos, trim from home and be as creative and innovative as they want. I also talk about apron history and my apron collection is there for inspiration.  A simpler version is “The Expressive Apron”. In this one hour program I talk about the history of the apron, ask people to bring aprons for show and tell. Once again my apron collection is on display, and I encourage people to try on various aprons. Both programs are fun, educational, and inspirational.


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  What types of tea related presentations do you offer?


JUDITH/TEA FOOD HISTORY: I offer “The History of English Tea”; “The Asian Tea Experience”, “Women and Tea in the Victorian Era”; “Tea and the Mad Hatter”;  “Tea Traditions  from Many Lands”;’ The Fun and Mystery of Reading Tea Leaves”; “Drink to Your Health – Coffee or Tea?”, “Tea Knowledge –A Basic Tea Primer” and “Matcha Tea Meditation- A Workshop”.


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  Which is your favorite tea presentation? Why?


JUDITH/TEA FOOD HISTORY: I love them all. I believe one will NEVER know everything about tea so it is a constant journey for me and my audience. I study Japanese Tea Ceremony which is a lifelong study so when I begin learning a new temae (procedure) I enjoy presenting the program the “Asian Tea Experience” and when I discover a new book about English social history, smuggling tea in England or the Opium Wars I enjoy doing the “History of English Tea”.  A friend brought me back a tea set and tea from Viet Nam and I delved into their history and couldn’t wait to do “Tea Traditions from Many Lands”.


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  I love the fact that you offer your services to children and adults in a variety of locations such as: Schools, Libraries, Colleges, Museums, Historic Houses, Historic Villages, Corporate Events, Women's Clubs, Garden Clubs, Conferences, Galleries, Book stores and other special events. 

I brought my own daughter and her friend to your Tea Leaf Reading at a local library and it was fantastic.  Most of us in attendance were older gals, but the young ladies had just as much fun! Will you please share some tips on the best cup to use and the best type of loose tea to use for a tea leaf reading?


JUDITH/TEA FOOD HISTORY: For tea leaf reading you need a wide shallow tea cup with no decorations inside (solid white is best) and a saucer. The best tea to use is black BOP.


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  New Jersey is The Garden State!  So many out-of-towners who travel in and out of NJ from our Newark airport are quite shocked to hear this is the Garden State - however - drive out beyond the city - and NJ is truly wonderful.  NJ tomatoes are to die for.  And, nothing beats all the U-Pick farms for all kinds of vegetables, fruits, and more.  When my son was very young, we took him to a blueberry farm and it was so much fun.  We have picked pumpkins, beans, strawberries, apples, blueberries, and so much more.  NJ fruits and veggies provide great family outings.  What is your own favorite pastime having to do with Tea - Food - History? 


JUDITH/TEA FOOD HISTORY: I love finding farmers markets and restaurants that feature local foods. In the summer and autumn it is neat to discover fairs and festivals that center around a certain food like the Blueberry Festival at Whitesbog. That festival is always the last Saturday in June. I also like to visit with senior New Jerseyans and learn about their past food traditions, cooking habits, and farming/gardening practices.


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  When you have an event scheduled and it is open to the public, where can we find out about these? Do you have a calendar of events at your website?


JUDITH/TEA FOOD HISTORY: Yes. My website is www.teafoodhistory.com click on the calendar tab. I also send a newsletter out monthly with my calendar of events. People can contact me at judith@teafoodhistory.com if they would like to receive my newsletter.


GAIL/THE TEA HOUSE TIMES:  How can a tea room, restaurant, or other business or group, library, etc. contact you to schedule a presentation?


JUDITH/TEA FOOD HISTORY:  To contact me to schedule an event or for more information people can e-mail me at judith@teafoodhistory or phone me at 732-985-2486.


Gail, thank you for interviewing me. I hope to see you and your daughter at another one of my programs!



Judith Krall-Russo, L.L.C.
PO Box 515, Fords, New Jersey 08863
Phone 732-985-2486

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